The Steinmetz Family School of Chai strives to provide each student with a comprehensive Jewish education in a caring, innovative, and vibrant environment. Our school will enable each family to understand and express Judaism through Torah, prayer, and acts of kindness. We will inspire each family to be a vital part of our community and to build a Reform Jewish identity and a foundation for a lifelong commitment to Jewish living.
This mission statement, as created by the Youth Education Committee in 2008 for the Steinmetz Family School of Chai, reflects the environment that our school provides. Our goal is to inspire our students with a warm and engaging faculty, a Jewish milieu where lifelong friendships can be made, and a steady environment for students to develop clear Jewish values and decision-making skills. We also encourage strong family participation and hope to inspire a love of lifelong learning both at school and at home. As Religious School Director, I look forward to making connections with each of you!
Sheryl Sacharoff, Religious School Director, tel: 407-645-0444
to the Steinmetz Family School of Chai!
We offer a unique educational experience for Kindergarten through Sixth Grades. Our classes run on Sundays (for K-6) from 9:30 AM-12:30 PM, and Wednesdays (for 3-6) from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Our Pre-Bar-Mitzvah class, known as Chevrutah meets under the supervision of Rabbi Engel and Cantor Rawiszer every Wednesday, as well. For more information about the School of Chai, please contact Sheryl Sacharoff, Director of Education at 407-645-0444 ext.112.
The Steinmetz Family School of Chai introduces the following Curricula for the School Year:
Our Judaics Curriculum this year will be based on the Union for Reform Judaism’s program known as the Chai Curriculum. For fifty minutes every Sunday, students in Grades 2-6 will have the opportunity to learn in an interactive and fun environment. This curriculum offers teachers 27 lessons broken into three categories: Torah, Avodah (Prayer), and G’milut Hasidim (Acts of Loving Kindness). While the lessons themselves will be offered from the Union, our talented teachers will be supplementing this curriculum with fun activities that many of them have used in the past, thus adding even more creative ways for children to learn during the Judaics component of the School of Chai. This program will also be introduced to our 1st Graders this fall. While we look forward to eventually including Kindergarten, as well, we will continue to offer a special curriculum designed for our youngest learners.
Our Ivrit (Hebrew) Curriculum this year is designed to allow our students the opportunity to learn Hebrew in a Prayer-Based curriculum. While it is essential for students to learn the basics of Hebrew, from alphabet to vocabulary, this new curriculum will enable them to utilize this knowledge right here at CRJ. This program will actually start in Kindergarten, where students will learn Hebrew letters and sounds, taking advantage of studies which show that foreign languages are absorbed easier at a young age. For our 3rd-6th Graders, Hebrew is offered on both Sundays and Wednesdays.
This year, the School of Chai is proud to again offer our unique concept in specialties within the school, we call it Camp Chai. We will be offering 5 different specialty style classes: Arts and Crafts, Computers, Drama, Music, and even Sports! All of these activities will be infused with a special Judaics component, and should be enjoyed by all who participate. This year, all students will be participating in these activities as a class, assuring the opportunity to experience all of our Camp Chai programs.
In addition to our normal Hebrew program, this year we have developed a Prayer Studies curriculum, which allows students to learn the history, choreography, tunes, and words of our Shabbat Services—ensuring progress which will culminate in the Bar and Bat Mitzvah programs.Holiday Days Off of Religious School
At the Congregation of Reform Judaism, we believe that it is a privilege for a student to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah once they have learned what it means to be a member of the Jewish community and once they have developed the skills necessary to be an active participant in that community. For this reason, it is the policy of the congregation and school that students have a minimum of four years of Jewish and Hebrew education, at our school or another school, before becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
Our Bar/Bat Mitzvah program begins a year before the child's Bar/Bat Mitzvah. At that time, they enter the Chevrutah class during Hebrew school The curriculum for this class focuses on the meaning and structure of the worship service as well as skills needed for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. At the same time that the child enters Chevrutah, he or she will also begin working one-on-one with a tutor and have individual meetings with the Rabbi and Cantor.
This year is an exciting and intensive year for our families, but well worth the effort when after months of hard work and practice, the child is able to confidently lead the congregation in worship.
Judaism teaches us that learning is never really over. Every time we reread the Torah, we may learn something new. Our community is very fortunate to have Beit Hamidrash, the community Hebrew High School for Orlando. Here 8th - 12th graders have the opportunity to continue their Jewish education while meeting and socializing with Jewish teens from throughout the community. Beit Hamidrash meets at the JCC campus in Maitland, on Monday evenings from 7:00 - 9:00 PM and is open to any Jewish teenager in Orlando. At Beit Hamidrash students can choose from such electives as Jewish cooking, Hebrew, Jewish current events, art, Talmud, or Midrash. "Beit Hamidrash is THE place to be on Monday night," if you are a Jewish teen.
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Religious School Director